There's an old story, possibly spurious, about Microsoft founder Bill Gates saying long ago that 640 kilobytes of memory was all anyone would ever need on a PC. Even if he never actually said this, the quote illustrates a common mindset throughout the history of computing, one that struggles to imagine any applications that would require more resources – whether RAM, network speed, storage, etc. – than current state-of-the-art technologies can supply.
For example, CD-ROMs were once on the fringes of PC and console gaming, despite their massive advantages in capacity and cost compared to ROM cartridges. Many developers stuck with the latter, more constrained format because of its shorter loading times, until eventually the complexity of newer games required the 650 megabytes of a CD. Later, DVDs and Blu-ray Discs were deployed to accommodate even bigger games.
When it comes to enterprise backup and disaster recovery, we can see a similar evolution in space requirements over time. Many organizations have traditionally hosted the infrastructure for these tasks locally. However, the recent acceleration in data generation, combined with the expanding array of risks to its safe preservation (e.g., cyberattacks, outages, etc.), has spurred many decision-makers to consider virtual hosting alternatives, such as Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS).
Space at scale: The advantages of BaaS and DRaaS in keeping up with data creation
A report from Cisco estimated that the cloud storage market stored 370 exabytes of data in 2017 and predicted that the total would rise to 1.1 zettabytes in 2018, in part because of stricter regulations in some jurisdictions mandating long-term retention of corporate records. Similarly, IT research firm Gartner foresees robust growth in the DRaaS segment from 2017 to 2021, going from $2 billion to $3.7 billion.
"Compared to cloud, it's much more difficult to procure and manage your own storage."
A separate Gartner document revealed that by 2019, 30 percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) would leverage public cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) for their backup needs, up from only 5 percent in 2016. The number of SMBs relying on cloud-based backups in general was expected to double from 2016 to 2018, to 22 percent.
This increased reliance on general-purpose IaaS as well as on specific solutions like DRaaS and BaaS makes sense, given the ongoing surge in the amount of data created, stored and subjected to regulatory oversight. It's much more difficult to procure and manage your own storage, due to possible complications such as:
- Running out of storage: You might be forced to purchase additional capacity in increments far larger than you actually need. In contrast, you only pay for what you use with most cloud-based service subscriptions.
- Complex maintenance: When you manage your own storage, you have to worry about lot more than just disk space; there's also the numerous costs for electricity, cooling and floor space to contain all the necessary infrastructure.
- Poor performance: To ensure acceptable speeds, you'll need access to fast network connectivity and possibly redundant sites to hedge against events such as storms or fires affecting a critical facility. All of these amenities are included in BaaS and DRaaS subscriptions, saving you the immense time, effort and cost of making sure all boxes are checked off on your own.
As data management requirements continue to evolve, it pays to have a trusted partner such as UbiStor to help you find the right technical solutions for your organization. We have decades of experience in building compliance-driven solutions that offer peace of mind even when disaster strikes. Learn more about our BaaS and DRaaS offerings by visiting our Services page or contacting us directly for additional information and answers to your questions.